How To Wash Chiffon Evening Dress Effectively

How To Wash Chiffon Evening Dress Effectively

Chiffon evening dresses are elegant, delicate and graceful… making it a REAL formal wear treasure!

By learning the proper way to clean your chiffon evening dress, you’ll be able to preserve its beauty and prolong its life. Because let’s be honest here… chiffon evening dress is not cheap! The best way to get your money worth is to get as much wear as possible.

Even if you don’t own a chiffon evening dress but are looking into buying one or two pieces, it doesn’t hurt to learn how to clean them so you’ll know what to do when the time come.

Before we proceed, it’s good to know that chiffon can be made from silk, cotton, polyester, nylon, etc. If your chiffon is made from silk, you need to be extra careful as they are more delicate than chiffon made from synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. The guide below will cover all types of chiffon.

In some cases, chiffon evening dress will need to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning can be expensive. Price depending on location, garment type, fabric, embellishment, stains, etc. Traditional dry cleaning method is bad for the environment and personal health. The harsh chemical used for dry cleaning can damage and weakened the construction of chiffon too.

This guide will show you the best way to hand wash and machine wash your chiffon evening dress. When in doubt, refer to your local laundry service or tailor for advice.

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Flower watermelon evening dress.

Guide to cleaning chiffon evening dresses effectively:

1. Read label on evening dress

The best place to start is by reading the label on the evening dress. The label will tell you what type of fabric it’s made of and the best way to clean the dress. If the evening dress doesn’t have label, you can contact the shop/boutique where you bought the dress for garment care advice.

For Paris Ciel customers, do drop us an email if you’re unsure of the fabric type.

2. Washing

How do you determine which washing method is best for your chiffon evening dress? Refer to the table below:

Hand washing Machine washing
All silk chiffon evening dresses Polyester chiffon evening dresses
All rayon chiffon evening dresses Nylon chiffon evening dresses
Heavy to moderate embellished chiffon evening dresses regardless of what it’s made of Cotton chiffon evening dresses
Very sheer (transparent) chiffon evening dresses regardless of what it’s made of Non-embellished to lightly embellished chiffon evening dresses of any type except silk chiffon and rayon chiffon evening dresses
Less sheer (thicker) chiffon evening dresses of any type except silk chiffon and rayon chiffon evening dresses

A. Hand washing chiffon evening dresses
Delicate and fragile chiffon evening dresses like those made from silk or rayon need to be hand washed. If the evening dress has heavy to moderate embellishment like beads, sequins, rhinestones, appliques or other delicate detailing or is very transparent/sheer (low Denier count), the best option is to hand wash them.

Hand washing steps:

  • Find a large enough laundry basin, tub or sink that can fit your evening dress.
  • Fill with cold water. Note: warm water is not recommended as heat can damage the delicate chiffon fibers.
  • Add a small amount of mild liquid detergent, lingerie wash or shampoo. Stir the water to dissolve the soap and until bubbles can be seen.
  • Submerge the evening dress into water and gently stir it around to loosen any dirt.
  • Soak for about 15-20 minutes.
  • If any stains still remained after this period, add a very small amount of mild liquid detergent or shampoo at the stain. Rub VERY gently with your finger or use a soft sponge. Allow the dress to soak in the water for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Drain the soapy water and refill with clean cold water. Gently stir the evening dress around to remove the soap. Repeat until the dress is free from soap residue.

Remember this:

  • Embellishment can get tangled up with the delicate chiffon fabric during hand washing, therefore try not to stir the dress around too much.
  • Very sheer and fragile chiffon that are silk based and rayon based need to be treated with extra care as they may tear, shrink or expand if handled roughly. Do not scrub and wring!
  • It’s natural for the dye to bleed out when you wash your chiffon evening dress for the first time.

B. Machine washing chiffon evening dresses
Sturdier chiffon made from polyester, nylon and cotton can be machine washed. You can also use washing machine for minimal embellished and less sheer (thicker) chiffon evening dresses of any type (except silk chiffon and rayon chiffon which need to be hand washed always).

Machine washing steps:

  • First close the zipper so they won’t snag the chiffon and embellishment during the wash. Unhook buttons (if any) because you don’t want to create stress/tension on the chiffon.
  • Carefully turn the chiffon evening dress inside out. Note: this is to prevent the dress from snagging or rubbing the washing machine or other clothes.
  • Place the dress in mesh laundry bag. If you don’t have one, no worry. A pillowcase will do too. Once you put the dress in, knot the pillowcase to seal it.
  • Wash the chiffon gown in delicate cycle with cold water using mild liquid detergent. Delicate cycle usually last between 4-7 minutes and uses less degree of agitation and slow spin cycle.

3. Drying
After a good wash, the best way to dry your chiffon evening dress is to air dry it. Air drying as the name suggest means letting nature do all the work. It’s the traditional way of drying clothes by exposing to air.

Using a dryer is the worst choice EVER because heat can destroy the fragile chiffon fibers. Also the tumbling cycle in the dryer may stretch and tear this delicate, what more on an embellished evening dress!

Here’s how to give your chiffon evening dress the perfect air drying experience:

  • Don’t wring the dress no matter what. You may get all the embellishment tangled up. Besides that the act of wringing will deformed the evening dress since chiffon is so fragile and sheer.
  • Zip up the dress (if it’s not) and close all the hooks and buttons.
  • To prevent color fading from harsh sunlight carefully turn the evening dress inside out (if it’s not) and place in shady and breezy area or indoor.
  • For lightweight wet gown, hang it to dry with hanger.
  • For heavy wet gown, towel dry the dress first to let the towel absorb some moisture from the dress. Because if you hang it when heavy, the weight of the water will pull and stretch the chiffon. Refer below for towel drying method.
  • Smooth the lace, sleeves and skirt so they doesn’t form creases. This will reduce the amount of ironing.

How to towel dry chiffon gown:
Lay a clean dry towel on flat surface (e.g. on table or floor) and place the dress flat on top of it. If the dress is extremely wet, you can place another towel on top of the dress and gently press on the towel to remove excess water out of the chiffon evening dress. Alternate method is to carefully roll the towel and dress together to press water out of it. Be extra careful if your evening gown is heavily embellished. In the case of towel drying the initial method is preferable because rolling the dress may damage the detailing. Once the wet chiffon gown is no longer heavy, you can hang it to air dry.

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Breathtaking cut out watermelon evening dress

Extra tips for caring your chiffon evening dress:
  • To make your gown last longer, wear as many times as possible before washing your chiffon evening dress.
  • Try not to wash your chiffon dress with other clothes since chiffon is such a delicate fabric. You don’t want to rub it against other coarser fabric.
  • Chiffon may bleed color during washing, therefore it’s advisable to wash with like colors. The best is to wash chiffon evening dress one at a time.
  • If you’re using washing machine, keep the wash and spin cycle the shortest possible.

If you would like to learn more about chiffon, refer to these posts for further reading:

  1. Beginner’s guide to chiffon fabric
  2. The little guide to chiffon evening dresses

Conclusion: Armed with these knowledge, I hope you now have a better understanding how to care for your chiffon evening dress. When you give all the attention it needs, you’ll be rewarded with an investment that last a long long time. Make your chiffon evening dress worth it!

If you find this article useful, please share it with your friends. Thank you!

photo credit: Woo the crowds red evening dress, fabric store photography (ubuntu natty wallpaper!) via photopin


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